Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why we hate work

From Zen Habits is this great post on Work as Play

‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.’ - George Bernard Shaw

Kids generally hate school because it is work. Based on the post above, here are suggestions to make work more like play.

  • Freedom. We can't set our own schedule and maybe not even our own curriculum, but we can give a variety of choices from actual activities to different ways to show the information.
  • Excitement. What are the items you can give students that will cause them to be excited about something you are doing? I am intrigued by a collegue who shared notebook activities with me. I am looking at doing something similar but obviously tooled for the web. How can I allow more openness that allows students an opportunity to find excitement?
  • Playing with others. Students like to work together. They are social. I like that. they need to be able to work with others at their leisure. Class may look unstructured and is often loud. As long as they get their work done, I am okay with it. They can even switch groups if they want. This is how it should be.
  • Pour yourself into it. Offer a variety at one time and give them the time to really work on it.
  • Showing off. Students may not seem like they want to show someone else what they are working on, but really, who doesn't? Give them an opportunity to show more than just the teacher what they have done.

So here are a few of my other thoughts:

Google's 20% policy is great. Most of the google products are created on 20% time - the time employees can work on whatever they want that is their passion. What if we could give that to students? I am still trying to figure out what this could be. For teachers, the 20% time we can do hardly gets noticed. Really, when everyone is paid the same (I know, there is no other way, after all what one person merits, another doesn't). But, there is not much enthusiasm for and respect of innovation. As someone told me last year, they really don't care.

What if innovation were actually cultivated by teachers, would it then trickle down to the students?

An ending quote from the post:

‘Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.’ - Mark Twain

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. (I hope you don't mind I linked it on my facebook and twitter.) I would love to hear more about your ideas on giving 20% time to students.